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Bernard Hopkins is a fucking legend

hopkins-pavlik

Bernard Hopkins is a fucking legend.

Saturday night I was in lovely Birmingham, England and after an exciting night of UFC fights I found myself back in my hotel – jet lagged, time-zone bewildered and hopped up on the devil’s cabbage.
I had just seen 11 great mixed martial arts bouts, but there was still one fight later that evening that I was looking forward to, a boxing match between Bernard Hopkins and Kelly Pavlik.
Bernard, the ultra crafty veteran at 40-fucking-3 years old -which is like 80 in boxing years – was taking on the young, white knockout artist that’s one of those mentally tough, hard workers you can’t help but root for. It was an awesome match up.

Thanks to the almost inconceivable ideas and work of people thousands of times smarter than me, they now have technology where I can watch shit saved on my DVR at home through the internet when I’m on the road.
Just talking about it gives me a big, fat, geek boner.
I fired up the laptop, and through it’s 15-inch screen I witnessed a pugilistic masterpiece.

Bernard Hopkins, showing incredible discipline and poise artfully out moved and out boxed the younger man, pitching a virtual shut out. It was one of the most beautiful displays of technical boxing and strategy that I’ve ever seen in a lifetime of watching the sport. For 12 rounds against one of the most dangerous young guns in boxing he used perfect defensive movement setting up precision attacks and counter attacks while taking very little punishment. It was a god damned, motherfucking work of art.

I think there’s a misconception that because I do commentary for the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and because of this goofy UFC vs Boxing argument that I got in with Lou Dibella on ESPN – that I’m not a fan of boxing. That couldn’t be more untrue.
I’ve always been a huge boxing fan, and in fact besides Mixed Martial Arts it’s the only sport I watch.
I’m also a huge fan of discipline and focus, and Bernard Hopkins has those qualities in levels that most other fighters can only dream of. I feed off the accomplishments of others. They inspire me, and they motivate me to push for more in my own life, and I feel like watching that fight has given me a fresh jolt of energy. He’s such a bad motherfucker that just watching him has raised my whole game.

One of the things I appreciate about his style the most is that he takes very little damage. I’ve never even seen him get hurt.
Some people have called him boring for it, but for me it’s not boring at all.
It’s just intelligent. If you know how hard it is to do what he does only then can you really appreciate the level artistry and discipline involved in such a performance.
The name of the game is to take as little punishment as possible while dishing out as much as possible, and no ones does it better than Hopkins did Saturday night.
At 43 years old he turned in one of the finest performances of his career – matched perhaps only by his artful destruction of Felix Trinidad.

I just watched it again on the big screen, and it was even better the second time around.
If you’re a fan of the sport you owe it to yourself to catch the replay when it airs on HBO.
I think once you see it you’ll likely agree that fight goes down in history as one of the greatest performances ever. Intelligence, skill, experience and execution all on display at humbling levels by a 43 year old man defying time by remaining at the top of the heap in one of the most dangerous sports in the world.
It’s the stuff of legends, and just watching it will make you better at everything you do.